BIZ BUZZ: Undermining Bautista and Chiong | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Undermining Bautista and Chiong

/ 02:09 AM May 09, 2023

When taken in the context of his reform moves, perhaps the suspension of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Cesar Chiong should come as no surprise.

The official was suspended last week by the Ombudsman based on an anonymous complaint, Biz Buzz hears. His sin? Reassigning 285 employees to improve service at the notoriously inefficient Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).

According to our sources, Chiong was not even asked for his side and his authority to reshuffle personnel under him was, in effect, ignored.


Chiong, to refresh our memories, is the person who removed the superfluous guards and x-ray machines that greeted passengers as they entered the airport terminals—multimillion-peso contracts worth over P100 million a year, we’re told.


He also improved the finances of MIAA without asking for any subsidy from the government. He collected unpaid receivables and cut unnecessary expenses, and now MIAA is flush with money.

With Chiong’s opponents out to get him and his boss, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, removed from their posts, what will happen to Naia? Abangan!

—Daxim L. Lucas

Hydropower developer IPO

The energy sector is considered as one of the most capital-intensive industries, given the various infrastructure that needs to be built for a project to go fully online. As such, many energy developers resort to capital markets to get the funding they need for their expansion plans.

On Monday, hydropower developer Repower Energy Development Corp. unveiled its plan to list on the stock exchange.

Repower Energy is a subsidiary of Pure Energy Holdings Corp., a firm involved in renewable energy and water supply. Pure Energy owns several operating solar farms, eight operating hydropower plants, a biomass hybrid power plant, geothermal resources, and 15 operating bulk water and distribution concessions throughout the Philippines.

Repower Energy has been operating eight hydropower plants since its establishment seven years ago, and all of them have recurring income. The initial public offering (IPO) proceeds will fund hydropower plants set to come online by 2025. The company plans to offer 200 million shares at a price of up to P5 per share.


Repower Energy is also looking to develop onshore wind projects and seawater pumped storage projects, totaling over 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity.

The company markets itself as a stable company with solid recurring income and growth potential, anchored by a three-year track record of profitability. With a P1-billion IPO in the pipeline, the company’s future is promising

— Daxim L. Lucas

Taking a step back

A new superconsortium has dared to take on the task of rehabilitating Naia, recently submitting a P100-billion unsolicited proposal. It included familiar names of conglomerates owned by the country’s wealthiest, but one was notably missing: Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).

MPIC, to recall, had joined the same Naia rehab consortium—which included Ayala Corp., Aboitiz Equity Ventures and Alliance Global Group Inc., among others—but withdrew in 2020 after years of negotiations.

“We’ve not been in touch with either the government or the consortium about that,” MPIC chair Manuel Pangilinan told reporters recently.

Does this mean he is taking a step back from major transportation projects for now?

“In a way, yes, I guess so,” he said.

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While MVP is giving the Naia rehab project a pass, MPIC is completing several toll road projects at the moment.

—Tyrone Jasper C. Piad INQ
TAGS: Biz Buzz, Business, hydropower, MIAA

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